Ran into this in a handout:

Jack, and Kate, is leaving the province tomorrow.

It looks a bit odd to me. Is this structure possible in English? If so, what is the benefit of it and what is this going to say? What is the difference between this and Jack and Kate are leaving the province tomorrow?


(From an AmE perspective)
It doesn't work so well with "and" (it's grammatically incorrect), although you could say:

Jack, along with Kate, is leaving the province tomorrow.

It would be better to move it to the end:

Jack is leaving the province tomorrow, along with Kate.

  • 3
    Your theory is different than mine. It might be worth noting that, by putting Kate into a separate clause (i.e., "along with Kate"), we can preserve the original verb is, which is singular.
    – J.R.
    Feb 2 '14 at 22:05
  • It doesn't work so well, or is it actually wrong? I have tried to read the sentence from different angles and it does not seem correct in any way to me (what ever the intended meaning).
    – pnizzle
    Feb 3 '14 at 0:30
  • I think it's actually grammatically "wrong". I will clarify my answer then.
    – tuespetre
    Feb 3 '14 at 3:17

Some people put commas wherever they would pause. Many experts (such as the Grammar Girl, the UNC Writing Center, and Penn State's Style for Students would debunk that myth, explaining that, even though commas often go where pauses would occur, that's not reliable guidance for where to insert commas.

You have written the sentence:

Jack and Kate are leaving the province tomorrow.

in a way that is correctly written and punctuated.

So, why the extra commas? I'd guess that the writer wanted to emphasize the fact that Kate was going for some reason. If that's the case, the writer should have employed dashes:

Jack – and Kate – are leaving the province tomorrow.

  • Why is "is" used in the sentence? Could you please explain? (Jack, and Kate, "is" leaving the province tomorrow.)
    – Juya
    Feb 2 '14 at 22:06
  • 1
    @Juya - My comment underneath tuespetre's answer addresses that issue. As written, the sentence is wrong, but one could use is if the "Kate" part is put into a dependent clause.
    – J.R.
    Feb 2 '14 at 22:09
  • Could you give an example for when the Kate part is put into a dependent clause?
    – Juya
    Feb 2 '14 at 22:17
  • 1
    tuespetre gave two examples of that; I don't see the need to repeat them here.
    – J.R.
    Feb 2 '14 at 22:24

Jack, and Kate, is leaving the province tomorrow.

The sentence is actually "Jack is leaving the province tomorrow". The two commas are used to include additional information which can be omitted.

  • then why has the writer included ",and Kate,"?
    – Juya
    Feb 3 '14 at 13:13

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